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This Sporting Life.

This Sporting Life.

“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… The thrill of victory –– and the agony of defeat –– the human drama of athletic competition… these are Rennert’s Gallery’s vintage sports posters!”

264. United War Work Fund. 1918.
264. United War Work Fund. 1918.
Artist: J. Liello
19 3/8 x 26 3/8 in./49 x 66.8 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700.

New York Times, November 23, 1918 –– “Today marks the climax of the most irregular football season the gridiron sport has ever known… Here in New York there will be an unusually attractive football bill. First of all the war fund benefit at the Polo Grounds will probably attract the greatest attention, for it will bring together service elevens from Harvard and Princeton. The Harvard Radio School will play the Aviation School eleven from Old Nassau, and as both of these teams have already proved their worth, an exciting struggle is expected.” The Harvard team, composed of both Harvard and Boston College students making up the Radio School, were victorious over the Princeton Aviators 28-0.

129. Lord's/Oval. 1934.
129. Lord's/Oval. 1934.
Artists: Andrews-Power
24 3/4 x 39 1/2 in./62.8 x 100.4 cm
Est: $5,000-$6,000.

Cyril Power and Sybil Andrews met at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London, where Power was a teacher and Andrews a pupil. Combining forces under the Futurist aesthetic, Andrews-Power launched themselves a commercial-art duo, Power receiving the orders and Andrews creating the designs. Here, they’ve contrived a fun tableau of a cricket batsman and fielder, with helpful London Underground text noting directions and matches for Lord’s and Oval Cricket Grounds.

332. Strandbad Interlaken. Ca. 1930.
332. Strandbad Interlaken. Ca. 1930.
Artist: Martin Peikert
34 1/2 x 49 5/8 in./87.6 x 126 cm
Est: $2,000-$2,500.

This archetype of Art Deco female fitness presents a compelling reason to find one’s first resort at the bathing beach of Interlaken. A tiny but famous town situated in a narrow strip of valley between two stunning lakes in the heart of Switzerland, Interlaken created an Olympic pool, bandshell and beach in front of the lake for a combination spa / riviera-like experience for its guests. Note Peikert’s superb artistry at the model’s midriff, where the line of the mountain plummets directly into the curve of the woman’s white belt, then onward into the snowcapped peak – accommodated perfectly by the crook of the elbow.

354. Gleneagles / The Tennis Girl.
354. Gleneagles / The Tennis Girl.
Artist: Septimus Edwin Scott
25 x 39 1/2 in./63.4 x 100.5 cm
Est: $7,000-$9,000.

A truly wonderful work of Edwardian photographic naturalism. “The Tennis Girl” is here to awaken crowds to a second sport at Gleneagles, the legendary Scottish golf resort. Most impressive is the blurring sweep of the background foliage, mimicking the trace of eye or camera as it anticipates the ball thrown aloft for the serve. Scott studied at the Royal College of Art and exhibited landscape and oil paintings at the Royal Academy. He then migrated out from oil painting to book illustration, then to war and advertising posters, and achieved escape velocity into comic-book illustration for Amalgamated Press. At the end of his career, he penned illustrations for the children’s magazine “Look and Learn.”

287. Stockholm-Spelen. 1935.
287. Stockholm-Spelen. 1935.
Artist: Lundquist
27 1/8 x 39 1/4 in./68.8 x 99.7 cm
Est: $1,200-1,500.

A rush of triumphant Red, White and Blue ushers in this announcement for the 1935 Stockholm Games, featuring America’s elite track and field athletes, the year before the momentous 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

300. Ginnastica Lucerna. 1928.
300. Ginnastica Lucerna. 1928.
Artist: E. Mossdorf
27 5/8 x 39 1/4 in./70 x 99.3 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700.

Perfectly-chiseled, uniform Art Deco faces stare out from this poster, reflecting the Cult of the Body Beautiful in vogue throughout the 1920s and ’30s. Responding to this popular surge, the 1928 Lucerne Festival was a four-day event comprising various athletic activities, from synchronized calisthenics to flag drills. This is the Italian textual variant of the poster.

391. Vichy. 1960.
391. Vichy. 1960.
Artist: Bernard Villemot
24 1/4 x 39 1/4 in./61.5 x 99.6 cm
Est: $1,700-$2,000.

“Villemot was one of Paul Colin’s students. To boast Vichy, Villemot was even more radical than his ‘master.’ No more letters, just Vichy and two silhouettes flattened on an azure blue background. Everything is a suggestion with strength! The drapes and lustre seem to convey a scene from a play at the Théâtre de Vichy” (Golf, p. 26).

218. L'Exercice C'est la Santé. 1970.
218. L'Exercice C'est la Santé. 1970.
Artist: Jean Fortin
46 3/4 x 58 1/2 in./116.2 x 148.5
Est: $1,700-$2,000.

Just look at you. Just look at you looking at this poster that tells you to look at yourself. Do you like what you see? Look at that soft belly. Your shape reflects how you feel about yourself, says this marvelously French exercise in self-reflection and existential self-regard from 1970. Get in shape! It’s a Grand Cause Nationale, important enough that the French government enlisted the legendary ad agency Publicis for this PSA.

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